Secret beaches of Chania: the “hidden gems” of our island!
We have already spent the first half of August and, as it is normal, we have visited most of the well-known beaches of our beautiful island! Therefore, it’s no surprise that we now feel the need to be a little more adventurous and explore the “hidden gems” that Crete has to offer! Amazing beaches with golden sand or pebbles, crystal-clear waters and dramatic nature wait for us to discover them! Last week we introduced you to our favorite seawonders of Rethimno... This week, take your car (or rent one), grab your umbrellas and take some time off the bustling (though magnificent) Elafonissi and Prevelis, to enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of our top 6 secret beaches of the prefecture of Chania!
1. Omprosgialos Beach
Omprosgialos is located 26km east of Chania, on the east coast of Cape Drapanos, near Kefalas and Paleloni villages. It is a rocky beach with turquoise, deep waters. There is a small harbor with a dock, from which swimmers usually dive in the crystal waters. Next to the harbor there is only one tavern, very famous for its fish dishes. The coast is not organized and is too far from accommodation choices. The sea around Omprosgialos is ideal for snorkelers. Omprosgialos can be accessed by car through the asphalt road that starts from Paleloni. Though, another way is to come here by private boat from any nearby port, such as Georgioupolis.
2. Koutalas Beach
The beach Koutalas is located 25km east of Chania, very close to the edge of Cape Drepano and 1km north of Kokkino Chorio. The area has several fantastic caves, e.g. the Elephants' Cave or Petsis Spilios. Kokkino Chorio is located near the beach and is famous for its caves, the picturesque houses and a cluster of wells used to collect water. Moreover, here was filmed a part of the film "Zorba the Greek". Lastly, a traditional factory of blowing glass operates here. The beach Koutalas is quite isolated and actually unknown to most visitors. It is formed at the exit of a rocky gorge and in the hug of a narrow bay. It has large round pebbles and stones, which make swimming tougher. You can combine your visit at the Cape Drepano with swimming at the secluded beach. Of course, make sure that you have all the necessities, such as umbrellas, food and water. To get here you should follow the road leading north from the village Kokkino Chorio to the Drepano Cape and then follow the road to Faros. About 700m further north, you will see the sign to Koutalas. From there a very good dirt track leads directly on the beach. Perhaps, you’ll be totally alone. Next to the beach, there is a large cave which you could also visit.
3. Macherida Beach
The small beach “Macherida” is located 14km northeast of Chania and 1km west of Chorafakia village, hidden in a rocky bay. The bay faces the south and is almost always serene. In the center, it forms a beautiful small beach with white sand and turquoise waters, surrounded by beautiful cliffs. The water here is deep and pure, due to the currents that change direction many times in a day. The beach is not organized, although the area around has been developed enough in recent years. Because of its isolation, it is one of the most famous nudist beaches in Chania.
4. Domata Beach
The location of the magnificent secluded beach “Domata” is 7km east of Sougia and 58 km south of Chania. At the beach, ends the wild and rugged gorge of Klados. The water flowing in the area has created a unique natural monument on the beach. The beach is magnificent with fine pebblesand crystal clear blue waters. If you dig the sand, you may find fresh water. Since in the region around the beach, there are no mini markets or other shops, you should remember to bring with you everything you may need. The pine trees of the beach offer the shade that you need. “Domata” is one of the best secret beaches, still kept unspoilt, due to its isolated position. In this paradise beach will only be you, the sea, the sun and the pines. You may access “Domata” via the E4 path starting from Sougia, going east and ending to Agia Roumeli (3 -4 hours hiking). However, you should keep in mind that the coast is very steep and dangerous, as the trail ascends the mountain at an altitude of up to 700m.
5. Aspri Limni Beach (White Lake)
This secluded beach forms the shape of a lake, hence the locals call it “Aspri Limni” (White Lake). It is one of the most beautiful Chania secret beaches, almost unknown to anyone. It is located 500m. west of the Monastery of Chrisoskalitissa and 70km southwest of Chania. Although crowds of tourists enjoy their swim in the neighboring exotic Elafonisi beach, they ignore the existence of this little earthly paradise. “Aspri Limni” is a very small unorganized beach with white sand. The rocks, surrounding the beach, create a natural barrier and a lake with white sand. There is no natural shade, and still remains completely unspoilt. On your trip to Chrysokalitissa and Elafonisi, it is really worth a visit to that beach. In order to get there, you may stop at Chrisoskalitissa and ask the locals, who are really hospitable. Alternatively, you may, simply, follow the small signs that the Forestry has placed, leading to the few Cretan palm trees, existing next to the beach. The first sign is 100m before the monastery of Chrisoskalitissa.
6. Menies Beach
The location of Menies beach is 45km northwest of Chania, on the northeastern point of the Cape of Rodopou and the exit of “Fountas” gorge. It is a lovely secluded beach with pebbles and deep, clear, blue waters. As the winds blowing in the region do not affect the beach, it is one of the most popular Chania secret beaches and an ideal destination for relaxation, far away from crowds. At a distance of several kilometers there are no amenities at all, so make sure to bring along the essentials. The access to the beach is a bit rough, as you have to drive on a dirt road for 23 km from the village Rodopou. The road leads you close enough to the beach, but we would not recommend this for low cars. Alternatively, you may take the boat from the port of Platanias to Menies. Also, the steep coasts between Menies and Afrata form many beaches that are accessible mainly by boat.
If you are feeling adventurous but not enough to try finding those secluded paradises by yourselves, do not forget that ECOevents is one of the few agencies that are specialized in creating unique, private tours to magnificent places, like the ones mentioned above!
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